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Gov. Kathy Hochul in ‘awkward’ exchange with critic Melissa DeRosa

The bite is back in NYC’s power dining scene!

Gov. Kathy Hochul was spotted having an “awkward” exchange with one of her most vocal political critics this week: former top Gov. Andrew Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa.

Spies at the Capital Grille on East 42nd Street told Page Six they spotted Hochul approach DeRosa in a booth at the eatery that’s known as a political and media power den.

“Melissa was sitting in a booth and Hochul came over to her,” an amused observer told us, adding, “Melissa has become a regular critic of the governor.”

The spy added, “Melissa was in a booth having drinks” with an unidentified man when “Hochul spotted her and beelined over to say ‘hello.’ The two shook hands and exchanged pleasantries” in what could “only be called an awkward” moment.

A promotional image of Kathy Hochul in a grey suit
Melissa DeRosa has been a vocal critic of Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Melissa DeRosa with her arms crossed at a press conference.
Melissa DeRosa has been a vocal critic of Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge


“Whatever they discussed it must have been awkward for Hochul,” said the spy.

Former Cuomo enforcer DeRosa has routinely been slamming her old boss’ replacement on issues from subway crime, her court of appeals pick and Democratic campaign strategy.

But another source huffed that it was politically savvy DeRosa who was dining in the governor’s backyard.

Melissa DeRosa at an event.
Getty Images

“Melissa was having drinks with a local TV news reporter,” said the insider. “She obviously chose a restaurant that is around the corner form the governor’s office. She and the former governor went to this restaurant many times. She chose a booth in the middle of the room.”

In October, DeRosa unloaded on Hochul on John Catsimatidis’ “Cats at Night Show,” by quipping, “The silence out of . . . the governor’s office on subway crime is deafening.”

She added that lefty politicians like Hochul were “putting their heads in the sand” when it comes to city fears over rising crime. “The reality is nobody cares if the train is on time if you’re worried about getting shot on the train,” DeRosa said.

Reps didn’t comment.